Thursday, January 31, 2008

Michael Clayton--Again

Recently, I wrote a series of posts on the movie Michael Clayton. Six posts, to be exact. I thought the movie highlighted a number of important themes regarding the practice of law, and the posts were fun to write. They were:

Clooney v. Clayton--a review of the movie
Clooney v. Clayton, Part 2--about hyperbole in legal dramas
Clooney v. Clayton, Part 3--on whether there is such a thing as a law firm "fixer"
Clooney v. Clayton, Part 4--about the perverse incentive/reward structure of law practice
Clooney v. Clayton, Part 5--on how law practice affects your family life
Clooney v. Clayton, Part 6--regarding legal ethics

After the movie was nominated for seven academy awards recently, I was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune regarding post #3. The question posed was this: Is there such a thing as a law firm fixer? Answer: No, I don't think so. The Trib article can be linked to here.

Interestingly, an argument can be made that law firm fixers are economically justified in some cases. (For a good argument along these lines, see one of the comments made to post #3 above.) But I still think that the opportunity costs of having such a fixer are much greater than the benefits. Having another lawyer billing lots of money on big projects for years and years is far more profitable than having that person sit around waiting on calls to bail out clients.

But who knows. Maybe some day a fixer will show up at my door to tell me I am wrong. Until then, though, getting quoted in the Trib was a lot of fun.

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